Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Been going through the re-eval process for Rojo's IEP with Portland Public Schools. Oh, my hell of God. I prepared myself for the first meeting, I knew it would be more of a formality than anything, and it was. There was the school psych, the Special Ed. person, the OT, the Speech/Lang. person and two people from Rojo's parochial school. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was on time. Everyone was prepared. Everything was fine.
It was fine.
I've been at this for thirteen years now, and I know my way around. I even told STM he didn't have to come (he had a conflict), because I no longer need the moral support the way I used to. I could do this, nothing to it. Go in, shake some hands, sign a few papers, get the ball rolling, get out of there.
And that's pretty much exactly what happened. The whole thing was over in thirty minutes and before I had a chance to fully digest their first names, I was ushered out before the next tightly scheduled appointment began. To these people, these kind and hard working people, my son is just a name on a piece of paper. They don't serve him, they likely won't serve him, but they have to evaluate him (and I have the property tax bill to prove it).
The school psych looked through his nearly six inch file and started throwing out numbers and names of tests which meant nothing to me other than that there are a lot of them and the numbers sounded mighty low. "With scores like this," she said as though reporting on the weather outside, "he should really be evaluated for mental retardation."
"He's not mentally retarded," I piped in, face turning red, starting to sweat. "I don't care what the test scores are. I don't care about his so-called IQ, those tests are unreliable and we have documentation to support that. He will not be evaluated for mental retardation."
She began to argue with me, trying to explain how they just needed to cover all their bases.
Bases, my ass. She wants to check off that box because that box is cheaper than the Autism Spectrum Box.
So, today I had to go to our Behavioral/Developmental Pediatrician that we've been seeing for twelve years, and get him to sign his own damn box. A box he's been dancing around for a dozen years. The A-word. THE spectrum. We all knew it was there. We all have come to accept it at varying stages and varying degrees, and to varying success, but before today, it never was in writing.
Now it is.